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Want to get the kids involved in handiwork but not ready to hand over your power drill to a first-grader? Arizona Tools offers a cool gift idea for kids aged around 6-10: Allied’s Junior Cruiser Assortment Tool Set. Aside from giving them a chance to spend time with Dad or Mom or Grandpa Joe, it goes a long way toward developing dexterity and a sense of independence (read: when they’re thirty they won’t still be calling you to help them put air in a tire).

The kit is made with heat-treated, likely inexpensive materials (the whole set retails for under $30) including a flashlight (batteries not included), tire gauge, Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, 18 hex keys (SAE/Metric with holders), a 10′ tape measure, 6″ slip joint pliers, a 1/4″ spinner handle, and 20 1/4″ drive sockets of various SAE and metric sizes. Customer reviews at Arizona Tools are positive, though many folks wish that it included a hammer. Then again, when you’re eight, everything’s a hammer.

Allied Junior Cruiser Assortment Tool Set [Arizona Tools]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Allied Junior Tool Sets Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 
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As tired as I am of gimmicky multi-tools, Allied’s latest offering — the FlipGrip dual jaw multi-tool — still caught my attention. Apparently “flip grip” means that the grip flips back to expose a dual-headed set of pliers at the center pivot point.

The pliers look fairly useable and are much less ridiculous than some others I’ve seen.   The Flip Grip also carries the standard array of saws, bottle openers and blades as well as a bit compartment in one of the handles that holds four screwdriver bits of various sizes.

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The term “designer tools” to me usually means steel — more specifically, shiny steel.  Tool guys dig shiny steel like nerds dig laptops and online gaming.  It’s a fact of life that some tool makers are finally coming to recognize.  When they produce things like the 25` Tech Tape they must have been thinking, “brush the steel and they will come.” 

I think the “tech” in the tech tape is a good way of trying to say that it won’t hold up to hard use out in the shop.  The Tech Tape is nothing more than a normal (and probably unremarkable) 25′ tape enclosed in a shiny steel wrapper.  The problem is that the chrome approach works and I want one

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I was out today on a “shopping trip” (read: drooling on tools that aren’t in the budget right now) and I came across this “complete home tool set” from Allied. Now, before everyone cranks up the email campaign let me first say that I know this isn’t anywhere close to “complete” by any Toolmonger’s definition. 

Why do companies put the word “complete” on tool kits anyway?  It’s like throwing down the gauntlet in front of tool guys everywhere?  What’d they forget? 

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